Review: On The Road C63 (1x 14500, XP-G2) and On The Road C70 (1x AAA, 5mm Nichia) [Stainless Steel EDC]

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unknown00101
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Review: On The Road C63 (1x 14500, XP-G2) and On The Road C70 (1x AAA, 5mm Nichia) [Stainless Steel EDC]

 

 

 On The Road C63         On The Road C70
Reviewer's Overall Rating       

★★★

★★★½

 

 

 

Summary:

  On The Road C63  On The Road C70
Battery: 1x 14500 1x AAA 
Switch: Tailcap Reverse Clicky Tailcap Clicky (Momentary On) 
Modes: 5: High - Medium - Low - Strobe - SOS  Single Mode 
Mode Memory: Yes (Remembers mode it is shut off in)       Single Mode  
LED Type: 1 x XP-G2 (Cool White) 5mm Nichia LED 
Lens: Glass Glass (Aspherical) 
Reflector: Aluminum - Orange Peel N/A 
Price: $43.38 Shipped $19.99 Shipped
Provided by: Banggood Banggood




I will first examine the On The Road C63.



Pros:

Very compact

Butter smooth beam due to the OP reflector

Well regulated for a 14500 flashlight

Well thought out rear design to allow for various types of lanyard with tailstand capability.

Dual O-rings

Comes with a nice carry case, extra O-rings, a lanyard, and a Tactical Strike Bezel! Smile

 

Cons:

Quality Control (QC) issues

  • Loose threads - Makes cross threading much easier and impedes battery change.
  • Tailcap button is poorly fitted - Requires a direct press in the center in order to engage the clicky. Any off centered presses cause the button to pinch and not activate.
  • Brass ring is slightly out of spec - flush on one side of the light and sticking out very slightly on the other.
  • A Lot of assembly scratches in the tailcap area (Evident in pictures).
  • Driver has been forced in with a sharp tool (Evident in pictures).
  • Several scratches and a dent on the body of the flashlight.

Poor thermal management

Protected cells similar to a Trustfire Flame 14500 are a tight fit. Longer protected cells similar to a KeepPower 14500 will not allow the head to thread on past the second O-ring.

 

 

Function/UI:

High1.38A
Medium  .71A
Low.16A

(Well regulated as the same measurements were acquired with Trustfire Flame 14500, Efest IMR 14500, and KeepPower 840mAh 14500 all charged to 4.20v)

As some extra data another Efest I had previously drained to 3.55v pulls 1.1A in high and .61A in medium.

 

The UI is your standard reverse clicky operation:

Press clicky switch to turn on.

Cycle to the next mode with a half press of the switch.

Turn off with a full press(until it clicks).

 

The mode in which the light is turned off will be the mode that the light turns back on in (Requires 2 seconds off to remember).

 

Run-time:

This was a rather difficult flashlight to do a runtime test on. The thermal management is very poor in this light. There are 2 reasons I believe are the cause of this poor heat distribution and dissipation. The first of which I am assuming is due to the stainless steel construction. The second of which is the relatively poor contact of the threads (Despite being square cut).

Moving on to the test:

Ambient Temp.. 22*C

Battery.. Efest IMR14500 700mAh

I opted to use the best fitting cell (Unprotected Efest).

 

Approximately 15 seconds after turning the flashlight on in high the heat can be felt. Around 6 minutes on high the flashlight is a scorching 59*C concentrated almost solely in the head.  I paused the test to check battery temperature (36*C). I had to use a few layers of shirt to avoid scorching my palm while unscrewing the head from the body. 

To be safe I continued the test in medium with the temperature of the head down to 44*C. After 10 minutes the torch registered 50*C so I opted to implement a scientific heatsinking device I coined the Meatsink (My Hand) for the remainder of the test. The meatsink kept the temperature down around 45*C.

At 30 minutes the flashlight is out of regulation on medium mode.

At 50 minutes the Low Voltage protection kicks in and begins a 1-0-1 (On-Off-On) pattern. This warning can be ignored with a half press of the tailcap clicky and any mode can then be entered. The depleted cell measured 3v.

 

Pictures:


A couple of closeups


A look at the tailcap and the offensive scratches left from manufacturer assembly. Sad

The button is also quite a bit rough around the edges.


A look at the purty xpg2 and the OP reflector.


Here's the included bezel. The beam with this oddity equipped is quite interesting.



While the threads are lubed and do look nice, the actual fitment is anything but. There is a Lot of 'play' when trying to thread the head onto the body especially with a battery in between the two springs inside the light. This 'play' doesn't go away until the first O-ring is engaged.

 

 

And finally a look at the underside of the driver. The driver was forced in there quite a bit with a screw driver and hammer or something to the effect. It still sticks up out of the driver cavity about 1/16 of an inch.

 

 

 

Now I will examine the On The Road C70 (1x AAA, 5mm Nichia).



Pros:

Comes in a nice giftable, sturdy metal box.

Aspherical lens is optimally focused to give the perfect amount of smooth flood light from a 5mm LED.

Nicely machined for the cost.

Momentary on.

Small hole near the tail end for keyring attachment.

Threads are great and lubed.

Fits Eneloops/Energizers/Duracell batteries perfectly.

 

Cons:

The tailcap button rattles slightly

Some machining lines can be seen in a few of the macro shots 

 

Function/UI:

On! .500A

.5A or 500mA with both an Energizer 'Industrial' (1.602v) and a regular Eneloop AAA (1.410v)

 

 

Very simple UI:

Half press for momentary on (No click, release and it turns off)

Full press to turn on (Click).

Full press again to turn off.

 

 

Run-time:

This test was very straight forward. I turned it on and took pictures of the beam at intervals of time.

 

Ambient Temp.. 23*C

Battery.. Energizer 'Industrial' (1.602v)

 

The output stays consistent for the first 95 minutes and then slightly decreases.

At 120 minutes the output decreases slightly again. At 210 minutes the output is approximately half of the max output.

The output very slowly decreases until 440 minutes when the light is approximately one third of the initial output. The cell now measures .90v.

 

 

Pictures:


Closeup of the engraving.

 

The tailcap. Though small it the button can still be accessed rather easily even by meathooks. Wink

 

The head. A look at the clean aspherical glass lens.

 

 

A look at the triangle cut threads. Lubed and very smooth.

 

 

The C63 arrived in the cardboard box, the C70 arrived in the metal box.

 

Size comparison:

 

Mouse out - View from downward angle.

Mouse over - View straight at them.

1/2 AAA NiMH, Eneloop AAA, KeepPower 14500, 1/2 AAA S3 (xpg2), NCR18650B, Sk68 Clone, On The Road C70, On the Road C63, Convoy C8 

 

Beam Shots:

 

First up is the C70 (1x AAA).

I decided to show beam profile comparisons with another aspherical, and a similarly small stainless EDC light that has a reflector and xpg2 emitter.

 

SK68 clone (XRE), On The Road C70, 1/2 AAA S3 (XPG2).

Mouse over to have a look at their heads.

 

 

 

And now the C63 (1x 14500).

High - Medium - Low

I would compare this particular beam profile to that of a C8 with an OP reflector proportionately, though a C8 will throw much further. They both have the concentrated hotspot, the intermediate ring around the hotspot, and the outer ring (A profile I find extremely useful in real life situations). In real life there are smoother transitions between the rings and the hotspot is quite a bit smaller/more focused than it appears in the pictures.

 

 

 

Solarforce L2 (P60 XPG2 [SMO]), Solarforce L2 (P60 XML2 [OP]), On The Road C63 (1x 14500).

Mouse over to have a look at their heads.

 

The two P60's are shown in low (15%) for beam profile comparison. The C63 is shown in Medium mode.

 

 

 

Conclusion:


On The Road is a newer brand and they have two nice stainless steel EDC lights. I find that the larger C63 is a good pocket-able 14500 light with substantial output in a compact size. The finish on the C63 will likely result in a very scratched up EDC light after a while of carrying. I did run into more than my fair share of QC issues and I would hope that these quality control issues I found in my C63 sample are just a single instance of someone having a bad day at the assembly factory. As it is I would rate the On The Road C63 a 3 out of 5.


The C70 is quite a bit different. At first I scoffed at the lower output of a small AAA light, but after some use I was finding more and more reasons to constantly have it nearby. It lights up smaller confined spaces with a reasonable amount of light utilizing the aspherical lens for a nice, smooth, and even beam profile. It is compact enough that it will comfortably fit onto a keyring, in a shirt pocket, pants pocket, etc. The finish is much duller than the C63 which makes small scratches and general wear much less evident.

The On The Road C70 is a very nice, compact stainless steel EDC light that I rate 4.5 out of 5.


Edited by: unknown00101 on 05/05/2014 - 19:25
unknown00101
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Beams added.

Any questions or requests feel free to ask; I will do my best to oblige.

RaceR86
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Thanks for the reviews. Well done.

Funny names on these.. On the road lights..

BMW X6M

Mercedes C63 AMG

Volvo C70

Are they just picking up random names from the car industry?

BLF LED database – collaboration spreadsheet and latest news about where to buy LEDs
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/19342

lionheart_2281
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Did you try a 10440 in the C70?

unknown00101
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RaceR86 wrote:

Thanks for the reviews. Well done.

Funny names on these.. On the road lights..

BMW X6M

Mercedes C63 AMG

Volvo C70

Are they just picking up random names from the car industry?

I did notice that while I was looking into these initially. It was kind of annoying trying to acquire more info when all of it was on cars. Heh

 

lionheart_2281 wrote:
Did you try a 10440 in the C70?

I have not. I also don't have a 10440, but it would be easy to 'rig up' another Liion to test it. When I was researching I came across some posts claiming 4v+ direct drive on 5mm, but I wasn't able to find good data on their performance.
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lionheart_2281
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unknown00101 wrote:

RaceR86 wrote:

Thanks for the reviews. Well done.

Funny names on these.. On the road lights..

BMW X6M

Mercedes C63 AMG

Volvo C70

Are they just picking up random names from the car industry?

I did notice that while I was looking into these initially. It was kind of annoying trying to acquire more info when all of it was on cars. Heh

 

lionheart_2281 wrote:
Did you try a 10440 in the C70?

I have not. I also don’t have a 10440, but it would be easy to ‘rig up’ another Liion to test it. When I was researching I came across some posts claiming 4v+ direct drive on 5mm, but I wasn’t able to find good data on their performance.

It’d be a sexy little thing if it works with a 10440 for short bursts.

Mr Floppy
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Quote:
On! .500A

.5A or 500mA with both an Energizer ‘Industrial’ (1.602v) and a regular Eneloop AAA (1.410v)

That can’t be the current to the LED, that is a lot of current for a 5mm LED. Can’t see it as the tail cap draw either as that implies a rather inefficient driver.

ohaya
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Hi,

Is the C70 a zoomie? Seems like it from one of the pics on the gearbest.com web site.

unknown00101
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ohaya wrote:
Hi,

Is the C70 a zoomie? Seems like it from one of the pics on the gearbest.com web site.


It is not, just a fixed aspherical lens.

Mr Floppy wrote:
Quote:
On! .500A

.5A or 500mA with both an Energizer ‘Industrial’ (1.602v) and a regular Eneloop AAA (1.410v)

That can’t be the current to the LED, that is a lot of current for a 5mm LED. Can’t see it as the tail cap draw either as that implies a rather inefficient driver.


All current measurement were taken from the tailcap.
ohaya
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unknown00101 wrote:
ohaya wrote:
Hi,

Is the C70 a zoomie? Seems like it from one of the pics on the gearbest.com web site.


It is not, just a fixed aspherical lens.

Mr Floppy wrote:
Quote:
On! .500A

.5A or 500mA with both an Energizer ‘Industrial’ (1.602v) and a regular Eneloop AAA (1.410v)

That can’t be the current to the LED, that is a lot of current for a 5mm LED. Can’t see it as the tail cap draw either as that implies a rather inefficient driver.


All current measurement were taken from the tailcap.

Hi,

I was referring to this pic from gearbest.com:

That seems to indicate that the head moves (I don’t know – just asking)?

freeme
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I think they are just trying to show you where to insert battery?

ohaya wrote:
unknown00101 wrote:
ohaya wrote:
Hi,

Is the C70 a zoomie? Seems like it from one of the pics on the gearbest.com web site.


It is not, just a fixed aspherical lens.

Mr Floppy wrote:
Quote:
On! .500A

.5A or 500mA with both an Energizer ‘Industrial’ (1.602v) and a regular Eneloop AAA (1.410v)

That can’t be the current to the LED, that is a lot of current for a 5mm LED. Can’t see it as the tail cap draw either as that implies a rather inefficient driver.


All current measurement were taken from the tailcap.

Hi,

I was referring to this pic from gearbest.com:

That seems to indicate that the head moves (I don’t know – just asking)?

unknown00101
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That joint is where the battery tube threads onto the head. I think they’re trying to show how well the seam blends in when tightened?
That’s my best guess anyway. My sample definitely doesn’t zoom.

freeme
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GearBest price is better for C70 but base on description… I do not think they will include the metal case.

ohaya
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unknown00101 wrote:
That joint is where the battery tube threads onto the head. I think they’re trying to show how well the seam blends in when tightened? That’s my best guess anyway. My sample definitely doesn’t zoom.

Ahh. Ok, got it…

Mr Floppy
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unknown00101 wrote:
All current measurement were taken from the tailcap.

wow, so typically the Nichia GS has a max 30mA but 100mA pulsed. That or the LED is overdriven. I can’t imagine that it uses 500mA to produce 30mA to the LED.